Overview of the Flyers 2021 NHL Draft
The Flyers started day 1 of the 2021 NHL draft with seven picks, but by the 8pm start, they were down to six. Just prior to the draft, the Flyers made a trade with the Buffalo Sabres in order to acquire defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen that cost them their 2021 1st round pick (along with a 2023 2nd round pick and defenseman Robert Hagg).
The Flyers entered day 2 with their remaining six picks and no players drafted.
Here’s what they did in rounds 2-7:
*The Flyers traded Jakub Voracek to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Cam Atkinson during the second round of the draft, no picks were involved in the trade*
Round 2 (Pick #46): Samu Tuomaala
Samu Tuomaala is an 18-year-old Finnish right winger who is 5’10 and weighs 174 lbs. He is known for his shooting ability and is a goal scorer at heart. He is often described by scouts as a sniper, much like Flyers’ first-round pick in the 2020 draft Tyson Foerster, but unlike Foerster, he is described as quite an adept skater.
Tuomaala played in the IIHF U18 World Championship and made out with five goals and six assists in seven games. Throughout the 2020-2021 season, Tuomaala played U20 in Karpat, earning himself 15 goals and 16 assists for a total of 31 points in 30 games. He was projected to be drafted late in the first round or early in the second, making his selection at 46th a great move by Flyers’ GM Chuck Fletcher.
While he has a decent hockey IQ, Tuomaala could serve to grow the playmaking aspect of his game, as he is primarily a shooter. He also needs to improve the defensive side of his play, so it certainly can’t hurt that he was drafted to the same organization as 2019-20 Selke trophy winner Sean Couturier.
Tuomaala certainly has all the tools to make these improvements to his game and has the potential to be a top-six forward in the future.
Round 3 (Pick #78): Alexei Kolosov
The 19-year-old goaltender from Belarus may not be huge, standing at 6,1 and weighing 187 lbs, but what he lacks in size he makes up for with sound positioning and good rebound control. He’s able to cut down on angles and leave skaters with a difficult time trying to find a window to take a shot. His reflexes are incredibly quick and he plays with an athletic butterfly-type style.
Mentally, Kolosov is ready to be an NHLer. He is level-headed, confident, and never gives up. Letting up a goal doesn’t rattle him, which allows for those in front of him to play with confidence, although he is rarely known for letting in a soft goal in the first place.
During the 2020-21 season, he played nine games for Minsk in the KHL and ended with a 3-5-1 record. He put up a .911 SV% and had a 2.69 GAA in Minsk, unfortunately, his performance with Team Belarus was not as stellar (between the world championships and international competitions he had a 4.36 GAA and a .906 SV%). Kolosov could stand to bulk up a bit but with around 3-4 years likely before he makes his NHL appearance, he has plenty of time. Kolosov gets better with each shot he faces and has the potential to have a long NHL career as either a starting goalie or a backup.
Round 4 (Pick #110): Brian Zanetti
Selected 35th overall by the Peterborough Petes in the 2020 CHL import draft, this 6’2, 172 lbs defensemen has now been selected 110th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Due to Covid-19, Zanetti was unable to play in the OHL this past year and instead spent his time with HC-Lugano U20 Elite in Switzerland for the 2020-21 season. The defender has put up an impressive amount of points with nine goals and 20 assists in 41 games.
He is a solid player with a great hockey IQ who excels in both the neutral and defensive zones and is a good skater with long strides. Zanetti is expected to play with the Petes in the OHL’s 2021 season.
Round 5 (Pick #158): Ty Murchison
Murchison is a 6’2, 192 lbs, left-shooting defenseman. He played for the USNTDP juniors and the US. National U18 team this past year. He had five points in 23 games and 15 points in 48 games respectively.
Murchison has great vision on the ice, he’s a two-way player who is calm and calculating even while under pressure. His passing is clean and crisp, and he likes to play a physical game. He’s a power-play specialist who often finds himself on the top power-play unit.
His game could use some overall improvement, and he could stand to bulk up, so it will likely be a few years before he is ready for the NHL. Fortunately, Murchison is committed to Arizona State University. This program will allow him to further develop his game and prepare him for the next level. He will be playing at ASU starting with the upcoming 2021-22 season.
Round 6 (Pick #174): Ethan Samson
Ethan Samson is a defenseman from the WHL Prince George Cougars. Samson is 6’3 and 183 lbs, so much like most other teenagers in the draft, he will need to bulk up. He put up 12 points (1 G and 11 A) in 22 games and had a +3 +/-. His rookie season did not go as smoothly for him, with seven points and a -10 +/-.
Hopefully, this trend of improvement will continue for Samson as he begins to work towards one day becoming a member of the Flyers’ roster.
Round 7 (Pick #206): Owen McLaughlin
The Flyers’ final selection in the 2021 NHL Draft grew up less than an hour away from Philadelphia.
Owen McLaughlin played for three teams this past year. The 6’0 165 lbs center’s most notable work occurred during his time with Mount St. Charles Academy 18U AAA, where he put up 54 points (16 goals and 38 assists) in 33 games. McLaughlin also made appearances with the US National U18 team (7 games) and the USNTDP (4 games) but failed to put up points in those outings.
He is committed to playing NCAA hockey at Penn State University starting in the 2022-23 season.
Congratulations to all those selected in this years’ NHL Draft, especially those who are joining the Flyers Family, welcome to Philadelphia!
Mandatory Credit: hockeywriters.com
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